The main focus of Rosesis the generation who comes to adulthood in the years of WWI. Miles Toliver, Percy Warwick, and Ollie DuMont return to their childhood friend, Mary DuMont changed; Ollie missing a leg, and Miles with chronic lung disease from being gassed. A supposed betrayal by their father had already destroyed the relationship Mary has with her brother, who quickly returns to a woman he met in France. Mary pours her energy into Somerset, the Toliver family cotton plantation, and a romance with Percy, with Ollie loving her quietly from afar. When one person chooses family tradition over love, and a misunderstanding occurs, all three lives are changed forever. We follow the three into their 80s, as they raise children, make mistakes, and redeem themselves. In the end, Mary and Percy work together to stop their grandchildren's generation from repeating their mistakes.
The book is very long, as you'd expect from something covering this span of time and these many characters, but it is an easy and interesting read. I would have liked more information about the cotton and lumber industries, or fashions and home decorating descriptions, but that would have made the book even longer.
I'm glad I picked Roses as one of the January releases from Hachette to read and review. Roses will be in bookstores January 10, and would be a great way to spend some of your bookstore gift cards you receive as holiday gifts!